Wilson Burns Hot In Crucible Semi

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Kyren Wilson is closing in on the final of the World Snooker Championship after building an impressive 6-2 lead over Shaun Murphy.

Kyren Wilson in action at the World Championship

Kyren Wilson took a giant stride towards reaching the final of the World Snooker Championship as he built up an impressive 6-2 lead over Shaun Murphy in the first session of their semi-final at The Crucible.

Mark Selby, the three-time world champ, had been the favourite going into the semis and still was, even after a below-par effort in his first session with qualifier Stuart Bingham, which ended 4-4.

Warrior Looks Up For The Fight

Even after the opening salvos of the two semis Kyren Wilson couldn’t dislodge Mark Selby from favouritism, yet ‘The Warrior’ goes into moving day at The Crucible buoyed by having just produced arguably the best two sessions of his career.

If reeling off five frames in a row to bin many people’s idea of the champion, Neil Robertson, wasn’t good enough, then his fireworks against Shaun Murphy were simply breathtaking.

We should have known from his opening effort – a swerve round the brown to clip a red into the middle – that last year’s beaten finalist meant business, and even losing the opening frame didn’t bother him.

Wilson then produced runs of 70, 72, 110, 121 and 127 – including back-to-back total clearances – to establish a four-frame cushion that it’s hard to see him blowing. Yes, there’s still a long way to go – potentially three more sessions – but he’s 4/23 for a reason with Murphy available at 4/1. The handicapper’s settled on plus 5.5 with Wilson 25/28 to cover it, Murphy 25/29.

Any chance of a Murphy fightback? Of course there is, but the former champ is going to get frustrated in this classic match-up between someone who just wants to go out there and pot them off the lightshades and an in-form opponent who is teak tough in the safety exchanges and has the patience of a saint.

That opening session was freakishly good and three tons is a novelty. The bet on match tons is still under 6.5 at 21/20. Over the tournament Wilson averages a century break every 7.8 frames, Murphy one every 11.5, so it’s best to treat day one as a one-off.

Selby To Find That Spark

Mark Selby will probably never produce a worse session of snooker than his opener against Stuart Bingham. So it says much for his tenacity and Bingham’s own failings that Selby is still in the match at 4-4.

At one point in the session his long potting was down around 70 percent, he was missing sitters for fun and mustered only one break over 40. A different day may well give us a different outcome and now’s the time be piling into Selby covering the 2.5 handicap at 20/27.

The fourth seed had only dropped 11 frames in the first three rounds, was playing better than anyone and can rediscover the magic in time to put the qualifier firmly in his place over the next two days.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter for most of his working life. One of the most well-known tipsters in the country, his columns featuring golf betting tips have been must read material for years.

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